How to Calculate the Area of an Oval

••• Photodsotiroff/iStock/GettyImages

In mathematical terms, an oval - a shape that looks like a lengthened or squashed circle - is called an ​ellipse​. This means you can use the area formula for an ellipse to find an oval's area. The area of an ellipse is based on half the lengths of the longest and shortest axes that pass through its center.

Axes of an Ellipse

The ​axis​ of an ellipse is a line that passes through the ellipse's center and connects two points on opposite sides of the ellipse's edge. An ellipse's ​major axis​ is the longest axis of the ellipse. In other words, it measures the longest length of the ellipse. The ​minor axis​ is the shortest axis of the ellipse. The minor axis of the ellipse will always be perpendicular to the major axis. If you draw both the minor and major axis inside an ellipse, they will form a cross shape. You can think of the major and minor axis of an ellipse as the ellipse's length and width.

Area of an Ellipse

The area of an ellipse can be calculated by multiplying the half the length of the major axis by half the length of the minor axis, then multiplying by π. Pi is a constant used in equations involving circles, and is always equal to the same value - approximately 3.14 - though it can be extended to an infinite number of decimal places. So the formula for ellipse area is

A=\pi\times \frac{\text{major axis}}{2}\times \frac{\text{minor axis}}{2}

Calculating Area

    Find the length of the ellipse's major and minor axes. The major axis is the line passing through the widest part of the ellipse; the minor axis passes through the narrowest part.

    Calculate the area using the formula. For example, an ellipse has a major axis of 10 inches and a minor axis of 6 inches. The area is

    A=\pi\times \frac{10}{2}\times \frac{6}{2}=47.1\text{ square inches}

Related Articles

How to Calculate the Circumference of an Oval
How to Find the Volume of a Semicircle
How to Calculate a Circular Area
How to Find the Radius of a Partial Circle
How to Calculate Volume of a Circular Cylinder
How to Convert Diameter to Square Centimeters
How to Find the Radius of an Arc
How to Find the Radius of a Sector
How to Calculate the Length of Octagon Sides
How to Find Y Value for the Slope of a Line
How to Calculate the Linear Footage in a Radius
About Minor & Major Landforms
What Is a Two-Dimensional Shape?
How to Calculate Ellipse Eccentricity
How to Calculate the Volume and Circumference of a...
How to Solve a Hexagon
How to Measure the Length of the Diagonal Line of a...
How to Calculate the Diameter of a Circle From a Linear...
How to Calculate Circumference in Inches
How to Find the Vertices of an Ellipse

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!